CONTACT:
Doug Grout : (603) 868-1095             
Clare McBane:  (603) 868-1095                         
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
September 26, 2008

ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS ANNOUNCED FOR ATLANTIC HERRING TAKE

DURHAM, N.H. -- Commercial fishermen are reminded that the commercial harvest of Atlantic herring in Management Area 1A within the jurisdiction of New Hampshire is currently prohibited until 12:01 a.m. on October 20, 2008, because of a spawning area closure that is a provision of Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Atlantic herring Management Plan.  This spawning closure may be extended if results of the herring samples collected at the end of the closure indicate that 25% or more, by number, of mature female sea herring still contain spawn.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Marine Fisheries Division today announced additional closure restrictions, following a determination that more than 50% of the total allowable catch for Atlantic herring from ASMFC Management Area A1 has been landed prior to September 1.  The new landing restrictions are as follows:

From October 20, 2008, until the total allowable catch for Management Area 1A is attained, vessels will be prohibited from landing Atlantic herring taken from Management Area 1A from 12:01 a.m. on Thursday until midnight on Mondays. 

These restrictions are in accordance with the ASMFC Atlantic Herring Management Plan.  One of the plan provisions addresses the need to control "effort" (fishing days) in the fishery to prevent commercial fishermen from exceeding the total allowable catch for each management area and to prevent management areas from having to be closed early.  Management Area 1A is of particular concern because in recent years the total allowable catch has been harvested before peak market demands abate in the autumn.

An exception to both the restricted-effort and spawning closures is that any vessel may land herring taken as an incidental catch in ASMFC Management Area 1A, up to a maximum of 2,000 pounds. 

For more information about the closures, call N.H. Fish and Game's Marine Fisheries Division, located in the Department's Region 3 Office in Durham, at (603) 868-1095. 

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's marine, fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.  Visit www.WildNH.com/marine.

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